Friday, December 29, 2017

Mushrooms? In your Skincare? The Secret to Skin Relief

I should preface this post by saying I am not the biggest fan of mushrooms. In fact, I'm no fan of mushrooms at all. Ever since I was a kid, I've avoided them like the plague. Something about eating fungus just never appealed to me.

So when a package from Origins arrived in the mail full of 'Mega-Mushroom' skincare products, I confess I was a bit apprehensive. But after being introduced to Origins earlier this year with their GinZing skincare collection, I wanted to give them a shot. So I held my breath, and gave them a try. And you know what? I was pleasantly surprised! Maybe all mushrooms aren't bad... especially if they're helping to relieve your skin. And that's exactly what these skincare products do.

The so-called 'Mega-Mushroom Man', Dr. Andrew Weil has collaborated with Origins on this collection. Dr. Weil believes that inflammation is the root cause of visible skin concerns like irritation He also believes that mushrooms have the power to fight irritation, which is what spurred the creation of this new collection of Mega-Mushroom products. In particular, it's all about the Reishi Mushroom, which has been known to help calm, comfort and relieve visible redness in sensitive skin. So if you generally suffer from irritated skin, these proven irritation calmers (aka mushrooms) will do the trick!

Plus, Dr. Weil donates all of his after-tax profits from royalties from sales of their products directly to the Weil Foundation, which it uses to make grants to advance Integrative Medicine!

Keep reading below to see my thoughts on 4 of the Dr. Weil for Origins Mega-Mushroom products.

I have been using this face cream non-stop. Every morning. Every night. I love it. When I first tried it on, I immediately recognized its scent, but I couldn't place it. I literally sat down, just sniffing the container, trying to figure it out. It took me about 15 minutes, but it finally clicked: it smells exactly like Thrills chewing gum! If you have no idea what I'm talking about, it's a Canadian brand of gum that tastes kind of like soap. I know, that sounds totally bizarre, but it was a thing like 15-20 years ago. Turns out though, the soapy taste it actually because of its distinctive rosewater flavour, so maybe this face cream really smells like rosewater. Either way, it reminds me of childhood - I'm a fan!

I was actually in a pretty good position to test this face cream out when I first received it. We had just returned from vacation in Phoenix, and my skin was super sensitive after being subjected to the incredibly dry air in Arizona. I also had a run-in with a particularly bad skincare product while on vacation (*cough* Neutrogena Grapefruit Wipes *cough* - no seriously, never use them), and it left my skin stinging, a bit swollen, and definitely irritated. After giving the Mega-Mushroom Face Cream a try, it's like my skin was saying 'THANK YOUUUU!'. Moisturized and soothed, it was suddenly waaay happier.

Before applying the Face Cream, you can also use the Treatment Lotion to soothe your skin. You take a cotton pad, soak it with the lotion (which comes out completely liquid), and pat it all over your clean skin. I'm not used to having this step in my routine, but I've come to really like it! It feels like a nice moisture boost after washing my face, and immediately calms it after exfoliating. You can use it morning and night, just like the Face Cream.

I love a good Micellar Cleanser. I'm pretty lazy by nature, so a makeup remover I don't need to rinse off is always a plus. One that also calms irritated skin? Why not! I find it isn't quite as powerful as some of my other micellar cleansers, but if you have easily irritated skin, I'm sure you'd still prefer this one. It's soap and alcohol-free, and gently removes makeup and pollutants, while keeping your skin feeling comfortable and clean.

Sundays were made for masking, and lately this Mega-Mushroom one has been my mask of choice. It goes on as a thin cream, then you leave it for 10 minutes. The formula contains Cordyceps and Reishi Mushrooms plus Ginger, Holy Basil and Turmeric to help calm and soothe the skin while reducing redness.

This mask seems to really seep into the skin better than most - judging by how much the mask seems to disappear in that 10 minutes! By the end, from a distance, you might not even be able to see the mask on my face. Once the 10 minutes is up, you just use a tissue to wipe of the excess. It feels so pampering, and my skin is ready for another full week of, well, life!

Happy Styling! xo

~ Britta

Disclaimer: Origins Canada provided the product used in this post for review. As always, opinions are entirely my own.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Unique New Year's Eve Style

Hard to believe 2017 is almost at a close! We're now just days away from ringing in 2018, so today I thought I'd share with you some New Year's Eve style inspiration! Of course, the holidays (both Christmas and New Year's) are often the time to wear more glamorous textures - especially metallics and sparkles. For previous New Year's Eves, that usually included some sequin-clad clothing: a skirt or a top. This year, I decided to go with all black, and instead style my accessories with metallics and sparkles!

I found this unique cape jumpsuit on SheIn, and totally fell in love. I've had a cape obsession for years now, and just can't say no to capes in any form - from outwear, to jumpsuits. I thought this was one particularly interesting, because the cape is actually split into to pieces, which gives it more of a flowing movement when you walk. At $32, it definitely doesn't break the bank - which is important if you're planning to buy something only to wear it for NYE.

I also found a stellar deal on the accessories. The silver metallic pumps where a Value Village find, and only $13 (virtually brand new, might I add!). They're from one of Payless' collaborations Christian Siriano. I thought they would be great for holiday outfits, and actually wore them with this green velvet holiday dress here. Even my Kate Spade Sunset Lane Mini Kirin purse was a crazy deal, on sale for 75% off, and then an additional 20% off. I finished off the look with my Olive + Piper Lucy Crystal statement necklace. It's super sparkly, and I often use it to amp up any outfit!

If you're wanting to get the most bang for your buck when it comes to a NYE outfit, it definitely makes the most sense to buy a dress/jumpsuit/etc. that you can wear the rest of the year (aka not covered in sequins), and instead add that glitz and glam with your accessories.

How are you ringing in the New Year?

Jumpsuit - c/o SheIn | Necklace - Olive + Piper | Purse - Kate Spade | Heels - Payless x Christian Siriano (via Value Village)

Happy Styling! xo

~ Britta

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Holiday Style: It's All in the Accessories

Okay, okay, last holiday outfit post, I swear! I just had to share this one, because I was so excited when I found these shoes at Value Village. They look brand spanking new, and are part of Payless' seasonal collection with Christian Siriano. Aren't they the perfect shoe for any holiday outfit? The matte silver finish caught my eye, and then I saw the 40% off sign: woohoo! They ended up ringing in at a grand total of $13. You definitely don't need to break the bank on accessorising your holiday outfit.

The other accessory starring in this look is a vintage Chanel necklace I thrifted years ago. You may also have spotted it in my other holiday outfit here. In that post, I wore it in the front, to fit the plunging neckline. This time around, since this awesome dress has a plunging open back, I thought I'd drape the necklace down the back! There are lots of drop necklaces out there right now too, so they're easy to find if you want to try the same thing. I've linked to a few below.

As for the dress, I literally searched the entire internet for this dress. I kid not. I search for hours and days to find this dress. I was absolutely stuck on finding the perfect deep green velvet holiday dress. I just couldn't find a cut that I was happy with - until I found this one online at H&M! I loved that it cut at the knee, was bodycon, and had something interesting to it (the plunging back!). SO many of the other dresses I looked at were way too short, had huge front plunging necklines, and were cheap-looking velvet. When I saw this one, I knew it was the one. Unfortunately, it looks like they're out of the green colour now, but they do have a beautiful sparkly silver version that I think would be fantastic for New Year's Eve!

Dress - H&M | Necklace - Salvation Army | Shoes - c/o Value Village

Happy Holiday Styling! xo

~ Britta

Friday, December 22, 2017

Holiday Entertaining on a Budget

I love hosting parties. Unfortunately, our tiny apartment isn't exactly conducive to that, but I still like to regardless. This year, I did some hunting on Pinterest (of course) to find the perfect cocktail to serve, and ended up coming across the 'Ornamentini' by Inspired by Charm. I loved the presentation. The drink is presented in signature clear ornaments, held in martini glasses. The jewel tone red of the cocktail shines through and looks oh-so-festive!

I changed up my recipe just slightly from what you'll see on Inspired by Charm. The recipe called for an orange liqueur, and immediately I thought of Grand Marnier. It's the liqueur my parents had growing up, and for the last few years, I've been using it in my own cocktails. It just has the most lovely smooth, orange flavour. It tastes great even on its own! It's definitely the more premium of the orange liqueurs though, so I thought I would try to keep my budget under control on the presentation of the drinks to balance things out.

I made a trip to Value Village in search of some cool drinkware, and ended up coming across the incredible contraption you'll see below! I rarely check out the 'home' section of Value Village because I usually go straight for the clothes and shoes, but every once in a while I browse the home section and find something amazing (and cheap!) like this.

It's a 6-part cocktail set that includes a lovely glass cocktail shaker, 4 crystal glasses, and the holder, which houses the shaker as well as hangs all 4 glasses on it. The whole set cost me only $18.98 - which is a great deal, considering the glasses are all crystal. And what a unique design! I'd never seen anything like it before, and immediately when I saw it I thought I could make it work for this ornament cocktail.

I picked up some plastic empty ornaments from Michaels (make sure you check their app for coupons - I got 40% off!), and decided I would use the mini crystal glasses to hold the ornaments full of cocktail mix - kind of like an egg-holder holds an egg. I remembered having some cute striped straws in a cupboard, so I cut a few shorter so they would fit in the glasses, and voila! I also decided to add a couple small sprigs of rosemary not just to the cocktail itself, but in the bottom of each glass, just to give it an even more festive look.

Want to give these babies a try at your Christmas or New Year's party? Here's the recipe:

The Grand Ornament

  • 1.5oz Vodka
  • 1oz Grand Marnier
  • 2oz Cranberry Juice
  • 0.5oz Orange Juice
  • 1 Rosemary sprig
Just shake together your juices and liquors with ice, pour using a funnel into the ornaments, and add the sprigs of rosemary to your ornament, and in the bottom of the glass!

Happy Holiday Entertaining!

~ Britta

Disclaimer: Grand Marnier and Value Village provided the products featured in this post. As always opinions here are entirely my own, and I only collaborate with brands I truly love!

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

The Holiday Velvet Blazer Dress

If you saw last week's holiday outfit post, you may have noticed that velvet is a bit of a trend here on VV right now. Yes, I am a tad obsessed. And yes, there is still one more velvet holiday outfit after this one that I'm hoping to share with you. I remember wearing velvet a few years in a row when I was a kid. Back when it was the 'it' trend the first time around. As per usual, trends make their way back sooner or later.

This time around, I wanted to try a blazer dress in the on-trend velvet texture. I thought it would a bit more chic than just any velvet bodycon dress. Especially with a drop necklace to highlight the plunging neckline. I spotted this velvet blazer dress on Tobi, and snagged it while it was on sale for Black Friday. Turns out, it actually on sale again now in the colour black, with the code FRISKY!

As per usual, I didn't end up paying full price for anything in this look! The Chanel necklace was thrifted years ago, the Kate Spade purse I got on huge discount at the outlet mall in Phoenix AZ, and the Chinese Laundry bow heels were super cheap at Ross Dress for Less! This is a pretty good look at how I shop. Usually on sale. If you want to re-create the look for one of your upcoming holiday parties, I've linked to all the products, as well as some similar ones below.

Dress - Tobi | Necklace - Chanel (thrifted via Salvation Army) | Purse - Kate Spade | Heels - Chinese Laundry via Ross Dress for Less (similar, similar)

Happy Styling! xo

~ Britta
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